“The dull always seek to be clever at the fool’s expense, to somehow repay him for his cutting wit, but never are they clever, and often they are cruel.”
When I finally decided to read this and thus begin exploring Christopher Moore’s work, my husband, a devoted Moore fan, was skeptical. He kept saying “these are silly books… you only like more serious books.” I will admit that he was partially right, in that this was definitely sillier than my usual reads, but I had fun with it and definitely enjoyed it enough to read The Serpent of Venice which reprises some of the characters in this one. I think that Moore can be a good summer author for readers looking for something a bit lighter.
Fool is an adaptation of King Lear with many liberties taken. It is told from the perspective of Lear’s fool, Pocket, who is quite a schemer and ends up really driving the entire plot. I wished that I was a bit more familiar with the source material before reading this but I don’t think it matters that much if you haven’t studied it. The ending is different but many of the events that take place in the original do show up here in some form. However, what does matter is that if you are at all uncomfortable with graphic descriptions of sex, extreme uses of profanity, and the like, you will not like this book. After all of my years on the internet, I am not really offended by much that I come across in books these days, so I had no problem with it, though at times I felt like it could have been toned down just to get on with the story.
I’ve rated Fool 3.5 stars. In between all of the jokes, Moore can write well, and he told a story that honestly had a lot of depth and truth. I did feel like some of the humor became repetitive and unnecessary throughout, but I have also heard that this isn’t his funniest book and I am looking forward to reading some more of them.